Knitting for Baby: 30 Heirloom Projects with Complete How-to-Knit Instructions|
by Melanie Falick and Kristin Nicholas
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This beautiful book comes from two of the most productive figures in knitting today. Falick wrote the ground-breaking Knitting in America before transforming Interweave Knits as its editor.
Nicholas made a name for Classic Elite Yarns as its longtime creative director. Although the early editions of her pattern collections were criticized for their technical errors, she remains one of my favorite designers.
Don't Knit? Don't Worry
Knitting for Baby serves two purposes: To teach new knitters how to knit, and to provide beautiful patterns. Falick and Nicholas walk you through the natural progression of knitting, from learning stockinette to garter and purl stitches, adding shaping and color, knitting in the round, and making cables.
For each well-written, beautifully illustrated chapter, they provide several patterns that make use of the chapter's featured technique. In this way, the book is similar to Debbie Bliss' How to Knit.
Not just for Beginners
Bliss and Falick didn't just stop at the basics, either. The entire book is peppered with the kinds of helpful tips normally reserved for classes or forums. They share their favorite ways to start a new ball of yarn, how to read your stitches, and store handknits, to name a few.
You'll also find extra details that demonstrate how much work went into this book. For example, the common pattern language is to say, "ending with a WS row," but Falick and Nicholas take the time to write, "End having just completed a WS (wrong-side) row."
The patterns are suitable for the 3- to 24-month age range and include wearables (such as cardigans, pullovers, hats, booties, and mittens), plus blankets, pillows, play blocks, a felted diaper tote, and teddy bears.
As an added bonus, Falick and Nicholas even include an adult-sized Mommy Sweater.
One Pattern, Many Paths
Here's where the authors' work truly shines. Instead of giving just one way to complete a pattern, they often provide multiple variations in different yarns.
For example, they give options for knitting an easy eyelet blanket in Mission Falls 1824 Cotton, Green Mountain Spinnery Cotton Comfort, Jaeger Matchmaker Merino DK, Rowan Wool Cotton, and Classic Elite La Gran Brushed Mohair.
You'll also find explanations of each yarn's qualities and characteristics as well as how many skeins you'll need.
This and Erika Knight's Simple Knits for Cherished Babies are my two top choices for beautiful and achievable baby pattern collections. Knitting for Baby also shines as a learn-to-knit gift for the mother-to-be.
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